The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is located in St. Louis, Missouri near the start of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It was designated as a National Memorial by Executive Order 7523, on December 21, 1935, and is maintained by the National Park Service (NPS). The Gateway Arch was authorized on May 17, 1954.
The park was established to commemorate several historical events: the Louisiana Purchase, and the subsequent westward movement of American explorers and pioneers;
the establishment of the first cathedral and the first civil government west of the Mississippi River; the debate over slavery raised by the Dred Scott case.
The Arch, designed by Finnish architect Eero Saarinen, stands 630 feet (192 m) tall, and is 630 feet (192 m) at its widest point. It is the tallest habitable structure in St. Louis (taller than One Metropolitan Square, the tallest building), and the second tallest in Missouri (behind One Kansas City Place in Kansas City). . The cross-sections of its legs are equilateral triangles, narrowing from 54 feet (16.5 m) at the base to 17 feet (5.2 m) at the top. Each wall consists of a stainless steel skin covering reinforced concrete from ground level to 300 feet (91 m) or carbon steel and rebar from 300 feet (91 m) to the peak. The interior of the Arch is hollow and contains a unique transport system leading to an observation deck at the top. The interior of the Arch also contains two emergency stairwells in the event of a need to evacuate the Arch or if a problem develops with the tram system.
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